Grass Carp : Morphology, distribution, feeding, breeding

Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom                 Animalia

Phylum                  Chordata

Class                  Actinopterygii

Order                 Cypriniformes

Family                 Cyprinidae

Genus             Ctenopharyngodon

Species        Ctenopharyngodon idella

Ecological distribution

Grass Carp are present in Vietnam, India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Kampuchea, Burma, and Sri Lanka.


The body is moderately compressed and elongated. Head is broad and short, round snout. Lower jaws are smaller than upper jaws. Fish have no barbles. Two rows of comb-like teeth in the throat are present. Moderate size scales are on the body. The color on the above side is a grey and silver-like color on the belly.

Feeding Habit

This species eats vegetable food like weeds, tree leaves, and aquatic plants (Phytoplankton).

Breeding season

The breeding season is April -July. The period of spawning pairing occur.No parental care and fertilization is external. The temperature of breeding is 20-26 centigrade. One kilogram gives 100,000 eggs at a time. Within 12-18 hours eggs hatched.


This fish has a high price in the market. So people cultured him. It is also cultured with polyculture.[1][2]Microsoft Word – 05 majhi.doc ([3]Biology and management of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella, Cyprinidae) for vegetation control: a North American perspective | SpringerLink[4]japm-47-01-001.pdf (

Economic points of view


It feeds on herbs, so cannot compete with other fishes for food. It can be cultured in polyculture. It’s rate of growth is high. It does not breed in stagnant water. This has a high market value.


The fish has a big head. The fish required (need) artificial feeding.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Khalid Mukhtar (Ph.D.)
University of Sargodha, Sargodha